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Old 11-26-2013, 07:10 AM   #1
Junior Member
Location: CAnada

Join Date: Nov 2013
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Default Help with computer for metagenomics

Hi all,

just starting my post doc this coming spring, and have some money to get a computer.

I will be working largely with 16s sequences (QIIME and the like) and although we have access to a supercomputer centre, I will be working remotely at times and having a computer to do some heavy lifting would be helpful.

The central debate is whether I should splurge for a 15" quad core (2.3gHz) macbook pro (16gb ram), or get a dual core 2.6 gHz (16Gb ram). Will the extra cores be particularly helpful for my workflow?

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Old 11-26-2013, 07:23 AM   #2
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Location: East Coast USA

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 7,077

If you have reliable access to a supercomputer then buying a beefy machine is not strictly necessary

Unless you are going to be in a location that will not have internet access (and thus access to your supercomputer account).

If you really want to get that Macbook Pro ... we won't say anything.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:44 PM   #3
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Location: Adelaide, Australia

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 119

Completely depends on the size of your datasets.

In my opinion, if you have a sizeable cluster to connect to, a desktop is going to be a complete waste of money. I haven't used a desktop computer for about 6 years and I haven't felt a hindrance (using massive datasets both online and off). In fact the most annoying part of that 6 years was the short period of 6 months spent using a desktop computer at my previous work :P
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:52 AM   #4
Rick Westerman
Location: Purdue University, Indiana, USA

Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,104

It does depend on how 'remote' your work will be. My at-home internet is a 3G wireless phone (i.e., no high speed internet for me!). Using this I control and do useful work on our super-computers all of the time. If by 'remote' you mean absolutely zero internet connectivity then, yes, I suppose you'll need a beefy laptop. But if you even have the most modest internet then you can and should use your supercomputers.
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